Group seeking funding for July 4 fireworks

Published 11:19 am Thursday, June 4, 2015

After an explosive debut last July, the members of the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac are reigniting their fundraising campaign to bring Fourth of July fireworks back to the community for a second year.

The local nonprofit group has begun seeking donations from now until the end of June to pay for another round of celebratory fireworks to ring in the anniversary of the nation’s birth. As with last year, the group is seeking around $5,000 to help make the event possible, said organizer Jeremy Truitt.

“We’re doing a second round, reaching out and asking businesses and individuals to donate,” Truitt said. “We had a great outpouring last year that made it possible for us put on the event.”

The campaign to bring Fourth of July fireworks back to Dowagiac after an eight-year absence was the first major endeavor the fledging Young Professional group took on last year. Asking for $100 from various local businesses, the group was overwhelmed by generosity it received from residents, and by the tremendous attendance seen during the show itself, Truitt said.

“It was really, really positive across the board,” he said. “I didn’t hear a single negative thing, besides from someone who said they couldn’t park at Russom Park because it was so full.”

So far, the group has collected a little over half of its goal, through donations collected at last year’s fireworks show and through proceeds from its daddy-daughter dance held during the Dowagiac Ice Time Festival in February.

If funded, the fireworks display will again take place on the evening of July 3, with the rockets launched from the grounds of Dowagiac Municipal Airport. Parking will be available at Russom Park, Dowagiac Union High School, the National Guard Armory, and the soccer fields located near the fire station, Truitt said.

“We’re just trying to repeat the same success as last year, and to make this an annual event for years to come,” Truitt said.

People wishing to donate to the campaign can do so by writing a check out to the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac and sending it to Fifth Third Bank, located at 205 S. Front St. in Dowagiac.

For more information, call members Whitney Behnke at 269-240-3380, Jeremy Truitt of Fifth Third Bank at 269-782-1021 or Pat Bakeman of Bakeman Barbers at 269-782-5694.